One Last Move. I’m so sorry everyone!!

Dear readers of this blog,

I have moved again! But this time it should be for good. Or at least for a very long time. 안녕습니다 is now going to be at:

http://seumnida.annyeong.net/

So please come here from now on!

I hate to do this to you all. However, I had the chance from a friend (whom I’m writing reviews for on KoME), to actually GET access TO WordPress itself, as opposed to simply using WordPress.com. Which means I’m now able to fully customise my blog, use widgets, download different themes etc etc. A HUGE thanks to Taliana for hosting the new blog and stuff!^^ I’m so so grateful!

So annyeong.net will be my home for a good long time now. Unless I somehow win the lottery and/or magically learn the basics of website making (which I doubt – after all my years on the internet I still fail at simple things), I will be staying there for good. So I HATE to do this all to your readers, but please visit the above address from now on! I won’t do this to you again. Seriously.

윤선

What IS it Like to be a Korean Adoptee?

While browsing through my blog stats here on WordPress (OK, I admit – I’ve become a tad addicted to checking my stats out since moving to WordPress!), I realised someone had done a Google search for “what is it like to be a Korean adoptee?” and one of their search results was my blog.

And it made me think – what is it like to be a Korean adoptee? That may sound like a silly question coming from me, but as an adoptee, I think it’s really easy for me to forget that a lot of things I experience/feel are not really experienced by others – others who see everyday where their biological roots lie and where they originate from. So I thought I’d try and write a post on… what is it like to be an adoptee? Continue reading ‘What IS it Like to be a Korean Adoptee?’

Fatherhood and Interracial Adoption. Some Thoughts.

Before I start, I added a new page where you can come and tell me who you are, how you found this blog, etc etc. So if you’re willing, please take the time to say hi!

Recently, I was asked to e-mail someone who is compiling a book for adoptive (and prospective adoptive) Fathers to give a bit of advice from the perspective of an adoptee. I found this kind of interesting because, believe it or not, fatherhood isn’t really something I’ve thought about a whole lot. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I think it’s of less importance than anything else when it comes to the topic of adoption. So I thought I’d make a post on the topic…

However, before I begin rambling, for any prospective adoptive parents out there, I will put to you:

If your child came up to you one day after school and said: “Mum, Dad, such-and-such at school today said I shouldn’t be in this country and I should go ‘home’. What did they mean by that?” (Note: this happened to me and my parents while I was at school.) If this happened, what do you think you’d say?

Continue reading ‘Fatherhood and Interracial Adoption. Some Thoughts.’

Korean Media

European history and historical dramas seem to have little effect on my husband. He has a personal interest in Greek mythology, but if he saw a movie like The Other Boleyn Girl, or some movie based (loosely) on European history, he wouldn’t really bat an eyelid. In fact, I’m pretty sure that things like that bore him quite a bit. He’d much prefer to shoot a good amount of zombies on a nice, big TV.

Earlier this week I started watching the Korean drama 대장금 (Dae Jang Geum). See preview below:

I’ve been meaning to watch this series for a while now, and I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it. However, I’ve come to realise that Korean media has a funny effect on me. Whether it’s historically correct or not, 대장금 seems to be a pretty good look into basic historical Korean things, such as clothing, culture, language etc etc. But watching it makes me feel, I dunno… touched? As though the world I come from is real – it’s not just some imaginary place – it has a very long history and a very rich culture that others take interest in.

Growing up, I never really had much of an interest in Korea. My shame over rode any chance I had of that. I ignored most things Asian, and randomly became interested in parts of European history, such as Henry VIII and all that. But I was always aware of, and knew that I, really, had no connection to these parts of history or the world at all. I remember studying it as a child at school and thinking ‘I’m very disconnected from this. It’s interesting – I love castles and the royals’ pretty dresses and such, but I’m not here because of this history. This doesn’t have much to do with me and my existence as simply a human being.’ Growing up, I simply became accustomed to simply feeling detached from western culture, its history and the people around me.

However, Korean media has been having a funny effect on me. Watching it gives me a very real awareness of the fact that I didn’t come from an imaginary place, and that, in fact, I came from quite an amazing little country.

Last month, as a graduation gift, my parents gave me this really beautiful picture book. It contains nine different traditional Korean stories. They’re sort of like little Korean myths about why parts of the world are the way they are. It’s written in English by a caucasian person, but it’s the stories themselves that have a similar effect on me to what watching 대장금 does. I can’t really explain it. It’s just an amazing feeling to feel connected to something in the world, and to see that I’m not just some completely random existence on earth with no story or history whatsoever.

My family enjoys talking about their ancestors and such when we have family get togethers. I’ve often heard both sides of my family talking about past generations and where they came from etc etc. Robert’s Mum also does the same – she often talks about where her family and ancestors came from before they came to Australia. Whenever these things happen, I’m simply so used to tuning out. As a child, the thought that these sorts of discussions didn’t really involve me made me feel extremely alone and insignificant. But although I’m still alone in that sense, it’s just a comfort these days, knowing that whether I ever meet my birth family or not, I do know now that I do have biological ancestry out there – in a country and culture that I now feel somewhat familiar with. Having learnt some Korean, studied about the Korean culture, listened to Kpop, watched Korean dramas and talked to Korean people, I sort of feel… a bit happier in myself, knowing I have my own individual background and world. And even though that may be separate and completely different to both my adoptive family’s background/s and my husband’s background, I do come from a place that seems quite amazing to me. It’s sort of amazing – to think I come from a country that has such an old history and culture completely different to that of European and western cultures… I guess it just gives me a bit of a sense of that Korean pride that I’ve always sort of wanted… despite the fact that no one else in my family shares that with me.

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What is Racism to You?

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. Bertrand Russell.

*****

Recently, something happened to a friend whom I’ve known online for many years now. He is of Filipino background and his girlfriend is of Korean background. Anyway, the other day they were just walking around, and some Korean guys came up to them. After telling them that the girl “should” be with a Korean guy, they proceeded to hit him and he walked away with a black eye. I was so sad to hear this.

I’ve been intending to make this post for a while now, but haven’t actually gotten around to it. A while ago, some anonymous commenter made a comment on this blog, saying how they thought it was “racist” the way Asian people tend to “only” socialise and talk to those of the same background as them. Another person commented, saying they didn’t think this was a racist act at all. And it just got me thinking, well… what is racism? How do you define racism? Personally, when I hear the word “racism” I think of discrimination – to me, someone who is racist will, for example, dislike someone merely based on the colour of their skin. What happened to my friend the other day, I would describe as an act of racism – they didn’t know him or his girlfriend from a bar of soap, but placed their judgment on the both of them, simply because of their outside appearances.

After the anonymous comment was made on my blog, I thought about it: ‘is it racist that people “only” congregate and socialise with people of their own background?’. My immediate reaction was “no”. I often think that people do this, simply because it’s more comfortable for them – to be around people who understand them, speak the same language as them and share similar values.

However, I soon realise I also had a very opposing view to that one.

A few years ago, Robert and I lived in Sydney’s Strathfield – a suburb known for its “Korean-ness”. I suppose you could call it a small Korea town. Most of the population are of Korean background. They have very Korean values. Most of the shops are Korean, everyone speaks Korean and everything simply is… Korean! Originally, moving here, I thought it would be great! FOR ONCE in my life, I blended in. On the outside, at least.

It didn’t take me long, however, to soon realise that no matter how alike I looked to the people around me, I still wasn’t completely accepted. And on the other side, I soon came to realise that pockets of society such as these seem to separate from the rest of Australia – they look at you differently if you’re seen with someone other than someone of the same racial background. They’re surprised when you don’t speak the same language, and your neighbours expect you to behave and have the same sorts of values as they do, simply because, on the outside, I look as if that’s the way I should be.

By the end of our time in Strathfield, I was angry, disappointed and upset that I hadn’t been able to fit in there, either. But I was also angry at the fact that they, in turn, didn’t seem to want to be a part of Australian culture, either. I began to wonder about racism and the bigger role it plays in western countries such as Australia and the US. It seems so easy for me – to see a group of Korean people in the city and think it’s OK that they decide to remain mostly with other Korean people. But looking at the bigger picture, I felt as though the pocket of Korean people in Strathfield shunned the rest of Australian society and the Aussie way/s.

It made me beg the question: why are you here? If you are so set on turning the rest of the world to your values and your ethnic morals, then why move to a different country at all? And this was exactly what I found myself asking when I heard about what happened to my friend over the weekend. When you move to a country like Australia or the US, surely you must be aware of the fact that there will be many people of many different backgrounds, hence, people are bound to fall in love with people of varying racial backgrounds.

Clearly, I am very divided and confused about the lines we draw between racial background and the way/s we relate to others.

Racial difference frustrates me. It’s easy for us to say race doesn’t matter – that we don’t see people for the race they are. And yet… it does matter – it greatly influences the people we are today, the values we place on different elements of life and it sets us either apart from people or it unites us. However with the difference, comes racism and discrimination. It’s too easy for people to develop judgment and thoughts based only on people’s outside appearances. As an adoptee, that is something I am constantly struggling with, because what I am on the inside doesn’t match what I am on the outside. How can we, as adoptees, easily be comfortable and reconciled about who we are when our whole beings and existences are contradictory? Will I ever be OK with the fact that I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole? I simply wish I knew…

First post from WordPress

Well, I have now joined WordPress. I hope the move has been worth it! I’m still getting used to a lot of things. Like… what’s the difference between categories and tags? I don’t get that… XP

So I’m going to start writing a memoir about my life as an adoptee. It’s going to have a title and everything, and will be a very ongoing process. I think lots of adoptees are doing that these days – I feel it’ll be a great way to reflect and let out a few things, instead of just always writing random in-the-moment posts. I’ve also been wanting to write something for a while now, so this’ll be a good exercise for me, I think. So thankyou to Angela for suggesting it!^^

Umm… I’m not sure I have much more to say right now. I just hope I can get used to WordPress more and take advantage of its capabilities!


Hello!

안녕하세요! 제 브로크에 환영합니다! Hi! Welcome to my blog. This blog contains my experiences, thoughts and feelings about my life as a Korean adoptee. It also documents my process in learning Korean and learning about the country and culture I originate from. Please be aware that this blog may contain elements that can be somewhat confronting. But this is my blog and a place where I can write freely. If you have any issues with anything in this blog, or if you would just like to say something, please e-mail me (my contact details can be found on the "contact me" page of this blog) or leave a comment. Thankyou for stopping by! (More info. about this blog can be found at the "About this Blog" page.) Add to Technorati Favorites

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